Eland and moose exemplify lip-reading ruminants


468px-Taurotragus oryx qtl1

Taurotragus oryx photo © Quartl

800px-Alces alces chrapy p

Alces alces photo © Przykuta


Ruminants – including the largest species of antelope and deer – must remain vigilant for predators despite the continual chewing that mars their hearing. Visual monitoring of their companions’ mouths allows them to notice any individual that suspiciously stops chewing. Previously unnoticed by zoologists are the dark and pale markings accentuating the lips and lower jaw in the common eland and the moose, which potentially aid this collective vigilance.


Robin and the Honey Badger, 22 March 2016



Taurotragus oryx mouth markings

Taurotragus oryx mouth markings while chewing

Alces alces mouth markings

Alces alces mouth markings while chewing


Taurotragus oryx eland

Taurotragus oryx photo © lmnop88a